Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Parent to Parent: Dolphin Therapy
Parents of kids with disabilities know finding a therapy that really helps can be a struggle. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Lynn Martinez shows us how dolphin assisted therapy is changing the lives of families from around the globe.
WSVN -- Sixteen-year-old Robbie travels from Boston every year. Fifteen-year-old Becky crosses the pond.
Sonya Nessbach: "When we say we're going to get on a plane, we're going to go to the dolphins, she knows and she gets excited."
And 24-year old Michael from Miami takes a short ride down the road. The final destination: Key largo and Island Dolphin Care. Where they get a unique water workout and find love and acceptance.
Peter Hoagland, Island Dolphin Care: "They're incredibly sensitive, intelligent creatures."
Peter Hoagland: "When we work with kids in the water, it's clear that they know that these children are different. They seem to know to be more gentle with the younger ones and a little more with the older ones."
Kids work in the water with the dolphins, the dolphin trainers and therapists to strengthen muscles, enhance motor skills and boost self confidence.
William Read: "There's definitely an improvement in her limbs and joints. She's much more relaxed. She's a happier person. She's much happier, and it's a holiday that Becky enjoys."
Robbie Marcus has cerebral palsy and has been coming to the 5-day sessions since he was in middle school.
Robbie Marcus: "I like it here. I've been coming here, I like the dolphins, that's why. I think it's very helpful for people. It makes my arm less stiff."
Peter and Deena Hoagland's started the program after their son Joe had a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. Working with dolphins got him involved and moving again.
Peter Hoagland: "Within a year his recovery was so phenomenal that nobody, ourselves included, could believe it."
Vilma Vera: "I would like every child who is a special needs child, to be able to experience this at least once in their life."
For special needs kids, close encounters with the dolphins is therapy for the body and soul.
The program also includes classroom work for kids who can't speak among other things and full or partial scholarships are also available.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Island Dolphin Care